The Pancakes of Amsterdam
Any Dutch person will assure you that typical Dutch pancakes are the best in the world and even if you don’t like pancakes, you will adore them in the Netherlands. No, there are not the first ones who started making this tasty dish, but they have definitely mastered the skill. And pannenkoek is not just a pancake that you can get anywhere, but a very particular one that you can find in specialized pannenkoeken restaurants in Amsterdam and taste the real deal.
The tales of pancakes
If you think that nowadays the Dutch pay too much attention to such a simple dish as pancakes, then you will be surprised to learn how much respect they had in the 18thcentury. A pancake with honey and milk used to be a traditional wedding breakfast in some parts of the Netherlands, while in other areas it was eaten as a part of Christmas Eve celebration. Luckily, now they won’t serve you a pancake on special occasions, but it’s still often eaten as a main course.
A Dutch pancake is somewhat thicker than a French crêpe and much thinner than an American pancake and usually quite large, which means that you can be full after eating just one. Although the world history of pancakes goes back all the way to the 1st century AD, the Dutch pancakes are known only from 1683.
The variety of toppings
Whether you like savory or sweet, there will be that particular Dutch pancake that you will love, as they come in tons of different variations. The Dutch favorites are probably apple and raisins or plain with unique Dutch syrup or cheese and salami. But how about going beyond that and tasting something like bacon, banana and chilly pancakes or salmon, guacamole and crème fraiche pancakes or pancakes with cherries, vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream? Go wild and explore the flavors that you’ve never combined before!
Only in Amsterdam you can have a pancake trip around the world with international selection served at the Pancake Bakery (Prinsengracht 191): Greenlandic, Indonesian, Hungarian, Masai, Chilean, Norwegian, Thai and so many more. Play with it and choose your favorite ingredients or trust the professionals and let them astonish you!
The smallest restaurant in Europe
Guess the location and specialty of the smallest restaurant in whole Europe! That’s right: Amsterdam and pancakes: Upstairs Pancakes is tinier than you can imagine and has only 4 tables! As you can guess, booking in advance is needed, but this magical place (in almost 500 years old building) and mouth melting pancakes are so much worth it. You have to deserve your treat-so climb the steep stairs to the second floor, where you will be greeted warmly and surrounded by more than 100 hanging teapots everywhere. And when it comes to pancakes themselves, no words can describe how delicious they are! Our favorite is bacon, cheese and fresh fruit pancake (Slavisch), but all other ones are also very good. Think about any ingredient and Upstairs Pancakes got it- freshest, healthiest and often from local farms.
Eat and float
What can be more Dutch than a combination of eating pancakes and enjoying a view from a boat? If you want to try these activities at the same time, then get on the Pancake Boat to discover Amsterdam from the water and indulge yourself with all-you-can-eat pancakes. Your eating/floating tour can be either 1 hour or 2.5 hour long, which will be perfectly enough to get completely full of pancakes with a wide choice of toppings. The Pancake Boat departs from the other side of IJ (Amsterdam Noord close to the NDSM Wharf ferry stop) where you can get by a free city ferry. It is totally possible to celebrate your special event on this pancake vehicle too, as so many arrangements can be made with the captain.
ms. van Riemsdijkwegt/o 38
Dutch as it can be
While you’re discovering the delicious world of Dutch cuisine, don’t overlook tiny yummy pancakes called poffertjes. We can bet you haven’t tried those outside of Netherlands, and for sure they’ll impress you! Fluffy, spongy and freshly cooked (often right in front of your eyes!), they will melt in your mouth together with butter and powdered sugar. Everything is special about these small poffertjes- the buckwheat flower, a particular cast iron or copper pan and that sweet smell of childhood. No Dutch festivities, national holidays, fun celebrations and carnivals go without a poffertjes stall selling them hot and tasty for everybody to enjoy. So why won’t you try a dozen or two of them?
This post is also available in: Dutch